‘Instafamous chef’ whips up huge fan following

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KUALA LUMPUR — When cooking is regarded a chore, the end result is usually a mediocre dish.

When the same item is prepared by someone who has a great passion for cooking, chances are it will turn out to be delectable.

Wannabe chefs and anyone with a penchant for cooking eager to whip up new dishes only have to look to the Internet for inspiration — and step-by-step guides.

Many have taken to uploading short videos of their culinary prowess on YouTube, but Instagram is also fast gaining popularity for such videos.

The recipe-sharing frenzy on the social media platform has spawned a community of “Instafamous chefs” — regular individuals who have garnered hundreds of thousands of followers.

One of them is Nurhayati Zainol Abidin, 41, whose Instagram account “Yatie Kitchen” boasts 270,000 followers.

The customer service ambassador at a private hospital said that when she set up her Instagram account in 2015, it was just to share photographs and recipes of the dishes she had prepared for family and friends.

“It gave me a lot of satisfaction to look at the photos of the dishes I had cooked,” she said.

Today, Nurhayati counts royalty, VIPs and celebrities among her followers.

The mother-of-three only uses her smartphone for snapshots and videos of her cooking demonstrations.

“I won’t say I’m a great cook and I don’t think I deserve to be called a teacher,” she said in reference to what some of her followers refer to her.

“There’s a lot more for me to learn. However, I am happy the recipes I share on Instagram are helpful to other women. In fact, some men have also thanked me because their wives have become better cooks! Such compliments motivate me to share even more recipes.”

For any dish that involves an elaborate cooking process, Nurhayati usually posts a video to show how it is prepared to make it easier for others to understand.

“Many people have asked me how I find the time to cook as I have a full-time job. I usually plan what I want to cook and buy all the ingredients I need a week in advance,” she said.

Nurhayati is not interested in monetising her popularity.

“Whatever knowledge and skills we have gained are not our own. Many people have told me I can use my knowledge to earn some money but I don’t want to do that. I believe that in sharing my knowledge or by teaching others, I will be rewarded even after death.” — Bernama